Tips for Using Liability Release Agreements with Clients
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An element of risk is built into many business activities and nearly every relationship with clients. Those who are harmed — or believe they've been harmed — while working with businesses have the power to cause significant damage, even if the business in question is not to blame for clients' issues.
This risk can be addressed with help from an important document known as the release of liability. Sometimes referred to as a liability waiver, this document lets clients know which risks they can anticipate. More importantly, however, it discourages future legal action.
Clients who sign liability release agreements signal their recognition of the risks associated with a particular activity or business relationship. They also indicate that they won't hold the organization in question should an injury eventually occur.
Proper language is essential, however, as the agreement may otherwise prove unenforceable. To help, we'll cover the following in this guide:
- Key Clauses in a Liability Release Agreement
- Mistakes to Avoid When Using a Release of Liability Agreement Template
Key Clauses in a Liability Release Agreement
Although sometimes included within other contracts, liability release agreements often serve as standalone documents. In either situation, these agreements should accomplish the following:
- Identify the releasor and the releasee. The agreement should begin with the name of the client who agrees to release liability. This individual may be referred to as the releasor. The releasee is the business that seeks to educate clients about risks and also avoid potential lawsuits.
- Describe the claims or lawsuits that could occur without the release. From property damage to wrongful death, a variety of claims can be filed by dissatisfied clients. These should be mentioned in the liability release agreement, which should also include phrases such as "any and all" or "without limitation" to cover any potential omissions.
- Referenced the parties that might be deemed responsible for potential claims. Often, businesses are held responsible for issues that occurred due to misconduct from subcontractors, agents, or volunteers. To prevent this, the liability release should include not only the name of the business acting as the releasee, but also the intention to hold that organization harmless for associated personnel or agents.
Mistakes to Avoid
The essentials highlighted above should give you a solid start as you develop an easy-to-understand, fully enforceable liability release agreement. Opportunities for mistakes abound, however, so be sure to avoid these potential issues:
- Drafting a liability release agreement on your own. Many releases of liability are ultimately deemed unenforceable because they lack key details or use excessively vague language. This problem can be avoided by using a release of liability agreement template.
- Forgetting the influence of local rules and regulations. Liability laws vary dramatically from one jurisdiction to the next. Unfortunately, this means that a particular contract can be perfectly legitimate in one state and unenforceable in another. While a release of liability agreement template remains a valuable tool, you'll also want to examine local laws to determine whether all terms are valid in your state.
- Verbal amendments to the agreement. Ideally, the original document will explain that any modifications to the initial liability release must be agreed to by both parties and made in writing. The amended release of liability must be signed by both the client and the business representative.
Nitro Sign: The Final Step to Completing a Liability Release Agreement
Once you've customized your release of liability agreement template and verified that it's complete, it's time for the final step: getting the contract signed. This stage of the process holds its own hazards — particularly when contracts are signed electronically. To preserve the integrity of the agreement, use a secure solution such as Nitro Sign. Our free trial will get you better acquainted with this opportunity so you can move forward with confidence.